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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  December 16, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm EST

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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. a senator: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. mr. hoeven: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to make the case for lifting the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil. it will benefit not only my home state of north dakota but our nation and our allies in a host of different ways. he that'sie worked hard to include legislation repealing the ban in the year-end legislation congress now has under consideration. importantly, this is must-pass legislation, meaning that it will be very hard for the president to veto the oil exporl export ban. taken together, the reasons for lifting the oil export ban are very powerful. doing so would encourage more domestic production. it would increase the global supply of crude oil, reducing the cost at the pump for our consumers, particularly over the
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long term. it will help grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for our citizens. and the last reason is vital the important as well -- vitally important as well, particularly now as we work on making sure our nation is secure, and that is that it will help make our nation more secure, national security through energy security, helping keep our people safer. so let me go through these benefits, just take a few minutes -- a few minutes and go through these benefits one by one. and let's start with the american consumer. the price of oil is based on supply and demand. the more oil on the market, the lower the price. simple economics. supply and demand. the volatility in the global price of crude oil is felt right down to the consumer level. more global supply means lower prices at the pump for gasoline, benefiting our consumers and small businesses across the country. that means more money in consumers' pockets.
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those facts are backed up by studies at both the u.s. energy information administration, the e.i.a., which is part of the department of energy, and also the nonpartisan brookings institute. this spring, e.i.a. administrator adam semenski confirmed that finding in testimony before our energy and natural resources committee, of which i am a member. and in september, the e.i.a. released a new report that reaffirms the benefits to consumers and businesses that would result from lifting the decades-old crude oil ban. it stands to reason, if you just think about it for a minute, oil is a global commodity, right? the global price is based on north sea oil or brent crude, so that's the global price. the domestic price because we have -- we're not allowed to export oil is different. that's based on w.t.i., west
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texas indiana intermediate crud. so the west texas intermediate crude price typically runs somewhere between $5 and $8 a barrel lower than brent crude, the international price. so my state, for example, texas and others, we produce some of the lightest, sweetest crude in the world, yet when we sell that, when our producers sell that, they are getting $5 to $8 less per darryl than people who are producing it internationally, opec, russia, venezuela, our competitors, they price off brent. they are getting $5 to $8 more for every barrel they sell. think about that. let's say you're a store or a business of any kind. for selling the same product or selling a better product, you're going to get less money than your competitor. which of you stays in business? which of you grows? produces more of that product? which of you goes out of
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business? so what's going on in the world right now? you have got opec flooding the market. why are they doing that? they are doing that to capture market share and to reassert their dominance. and once they put us out of business, then they're back in the driver's seat and prices will go right back up for the consumer. you don't want to let that happen. we want a robust oil and gas industry that will make sure we have competition, that we have energy security and the consumers have lower prices at the pump. second, in addition to benefiting consumers' crude oil exports benefit our economy here at home. crude oil exports will increase revenues and boost overall economic growth. it will help increase wages, create jobs and improve our balance of trade. one area of our economy that currently enjoys a favorable balance of trade is agriculture. that's because our farmers and our ranchers successfully market
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their products around the globe. our crude oil producers can do the same if they're given the opportunity. local economies also benefit. service industries, retail, other businesses and communities centered on oil development will see more economic activity and growth if this antiquated ban is lifted. also, crude oil exports will benefit our domestic industry, our energy industry, obviously. the e.i.a.'s latest study concluded that lifting the ban will reduce the discounts for light sweet crude oil produced in states like north dakota, texas and others and encourage investment to expand domestic energy production. the drop in the price of oil this year has slowed domestic production. in our state of north dakota, we continue to produce oil. in fact, our state increased production in october with almost 1.17 million barrels a day. that's up a little bit from last month where we produced about
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1.16. but we're already down from our peak earlier this year of 1.2 million barrels a day. and this goes back to what i'm saying. we're in a fight to determine who's going to produce oil and gas globally. do we want that to be america or would we prefer that to be opec, russia, venezuela and some of our other adversaries? our producers are resilient, innovative and highly competitive. they're developing new technologies and techniques to become more cost-effective and more efficient all the time. allowing them to compete in a global market will not only make us more inventive, more creative, deploy better technologies, it will grow our economy and grow our domestic oil and gas industry. of course, that means high-paying jobs for our people. according to a study by i.h.s.,
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a global provider of industry data and analysis, lifting the ban will attract an estimated $750 billion in new investments and create nearly 400,000 additional jobs in the united states between 2016 and 2030. and i've seen studies that are actually higher. that's $750 billion in private investment. now, not government. spending in private investment to stimulate and grow our economy, and 400,000 additional jobs. again, jobs in the private sector. not more government. private sector jobs, economic growth. more revenue to help reduce the deficit and the debt without raising taxes. we know that from experience in north dakota where in recent years per-capita personal income has been growing faster than any other state in the country. not solely but in large part because of oil and gas production. on a national level, crude oil exports will help to bring our energy policy into the 21st century. the crude oil export ban is an
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economic strategy that was implemented in the 1970's, and the world has changed dramatically since then. back then, the conventional wisdom was that there was a finite amount of oil in the world. we pretty much knew where it was, and there are even alarms at that time that we were going to run out of oil. it was pointed out in "reason" magazine that as recently as 2005, the bbc asked -- quote -- " is global oil production reaching a peak?" end quote. in 2008, "the houston chronicle" declared -- quote -- "we are approaching peak oil sooner than many people would have thought." end quote. two years later, "the new york times" reported on a group of environmentalists who -- quote -- argue that oil supplies peaked as early as 2008 and would decline rapidly, taking the economy with it. yet here we are. nobody envisioned the kind of
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energy revolution that we're seeing in the united states, in north dakota, in texas, in other oil and gas-producing states. with new and creative technologies, it produced more energy with better environmental stewardship. back in 2011, i asked then-interior secretary salazar to have the u.s. geological survey to do a new study to update the estimates of recoverable reserves in the williston basin. in april of 2013, the results came in and they were profound. the usgs found that there are approximately 7.4 billion barrels of technical ly recoverable barrels of oil in williston basin which is nearly twice the previous estimate. the upper end of that estimate is 11.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil. it's about twice the usgs estimate made in april, 2008, which projected about 3.65 billion barrels recoverable
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in the bracken formation. so in less than five years time with new controlling development, -- technology development, we have more than doubled the amount of recoverable oil in just that area from 3.65 billion barrels to 7.4 billion barrels. and we're just scratching the surface. the report also estimates that there is about 6.7 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, nearly three times the estimate five years earlier. so again my point, we don't even drill for natural gas. we're drilling for oil, and we produce natural gas as a byproduct, and the amount available is going up dramatically. as i say, the most recent estimate for natural gas,
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3.67 trillion cubic feet, which is more than double the amount just five years earlier. that's what technology is doing with the resource. this is the opportunity that we have. recoverable oil projections to date may be as little as several percentage of what's actually in the ground. that's the kind of potential we have. that's the kind of potential we have to depend on ourselves for energy, not opec or anyone else. so i recently asked the usgs director suzette m. kimball to update the knows recent assessment to provide more information on a new formation we are producing in north dakota, because industry advances in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have greatly expanded the ability to access formerly difficult areas, and the industry is also working on a new formation, the tyler
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formation. i want to make one other point, too, and this goes to environmental stewardship. we are actually producing less greenhouse gas in the country today than we have in prior years, and a big part of the reason is something called hydraulic fracturing, because now with hydraulic fracturing, we're producing so much more natural gas that we have low-price, abundant natural gas, and as we use more of that natural gas, we're actually reducing carbon emissions in the united states. so isn't it ironic that as we develop and deploy the new technologies to produce oil and gas more efficiently, more economically and more dependably at the same time to hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, we're also doing so with better environmental stewardship. and isn't that what american innovation and ingenuity is all about? isn't that the creativity that we unleash in the private sector when we create a good business climate and we empower investment rather than block it
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with regulation and taxation and roadblocks and red tape that don't make any sense? that's how we create that rising tide that lifts all boats. that's how we become the most powerful and dynamic economy in the history of the world. that's how we create more jobs and opportunity for our people. so now just ten years after some were lamenting the depletion of the world's oil reserves, the model has shifted from scarcity to abundance. and we need additional investments in technology, transportation and energy infrastructure like pipelines, railroads and other industry needs to produce that energy. the good news is that the industry will build the infrastructure, create the jobs and produce the energy we need if we just provide them with that good business climate and that opportunity to do it, and as i said, as they deploy those advanced technologies, as they make that investment, they
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produce jobs, economic growth, more tax revenue without raising taxes to help with the debt and deficit, and they do so with better environmental stewardship. that's how we lead the world forward with better environmental stewardship, with american ingenuity and creativity and innovation. lifting the ban will create more domestic production in energy infrastructure, which holds two key benefits. first, more domestic production in infrastructure means that in a national emergency, americans will not be dependent on the need for oil from elsewhere in the world, places like opec. americans do not want to return to depending on opec for our energy. the second benefit is that u.s. crude will provide strategic geopolitical benefits for us and for our allies around the world. it will provide our friends with alternative sources of oil and reduce their reliance on russia,
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venezuela, iran and other unstable parts of the world for their vital energy needs. as a further security advantage, adding more domestic supply will provide a buffer against shortages owing to volatile conflicts in the middle east and elsewhere around the globe. we finally have an opportunity to curb the disproportionate influence opec has on the world oil market -- has had on the world oil markets for almost half a century, and we need to capitalize on it. and a final point on national security. we must recognize the implications of the president's deal with iran which lifts sanctions against iranian oil. that agreement will put one million barrels a day of iran's oil on the global market and billions of dollars in their treasury. it doesn't make any sense at all to maintain a ban on u.s. oil exports while the president
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lifts a ban on iran oil exports. of course not. clearly, it does not. and, in fact, we should be maintaining the sanctions on iran even as we lift the oil export ban on our producers. consensus among lawmakers and experts in the field of energy and national security is evident. lifting the ban on u.s. oil exports would create jobs, boost our economy and bolster our nation's defense. it is supported by studies done by the u.s. energy information administration, e.i.a., part of the department of energy, the nonpartisan brookings institute and harvard business school. last week, we held an energy and natural resources committee meeting to examine the link between terrorism and the global oil and gas market. the results were telling. expert witnesses from such highly regarded nonpartisan think tanks as the atlantic council, the rand corporation,
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the center for new american security and i.h.s., a global provider of data and analysis, affirmed that lifting the oil export ban will enhance national security. representatives -- representative of the general opinion in our hearing was testimony by dr. sara vexshura, a nonresident senior fellow at the atlantic council who said with the middle east in turmoil and confronting terrorist attacks and threats, it's important to have alternative resources, and i quote, "especially from the united states." jamie webster, senior directly at i.h.s., capped the issue saying -- quote -- "we have put out a couple of studies on the crude export issue and are finding that this is a clear win for the u.s. economy and also -- and also for energy security." "it's difficult to find a case where this is not a positive."
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a ban on crude oil exports is an aananachronism that should not exist. at this time in our history, all the circumstances argue for lifting the ban. americans need jobs. our economy needs a free market boost and the american people deserve the security of knowing that in an emergency, we have a reliable and abundant source of energy as well as the infrastructure to deliver it. lifting the ban on crude exports is an idea whose time has come. let's get it done. and i'm very pleased to see me esteemed colleague from the great state of texas, the only state that produces more oil than my home state of north dakota, but we're working hard and, you know, when you're in second position, you always run a little harder, work a little
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harder. and we're hot after them. but i must say they do an amazing job down there. and his leadership on this issue has been tremendous because he understands it's not only really important for the lone star state but that it's important for our country. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, while the senator fromme north dakotas still here, let me just say that he gave a speech that i wish i could have given. i can't -- i couldn't say it any better than he did. but i'd just make one point as he's preparing to leave the floor. you know, some people wonder, why is it that the texas economy is doing so well relative to the rest of the country. last year, 2014, our economy grew at 5.2%. the u.s. economy grew at 2.2%. now, the fact we're producing energy using the techniques that the senator from north dakota talked about, fracking and
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horizontal drilling -- fracking, by the way, been around for 70 years or more -- but that has helped contribute to job creation and our economic grow growth. and this is something we'd like to see expand across the country. we've been blessed, as the senator from north dakota has, with abundant natural resources and what we're asking to be able to do is to be able to sell those to willing buyers overseas, many of them some of our closest allies, who are being terrorized by thugs like vladimir putin, who uses energy as a weapon. think of how powerful this would be in our national security toolbox to be able to sell natural gas and crude oil to some of our closest allies so they don't have to rely on people like mr. putin. i think -- so i want to congratulate the senator from north dakota, senator hoeven, for his leadership on this
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issue. we've all worked together on it and it's been a team effort. and we are close to getting it done. but this is not -- and the point to make here, this is not just about energy producing states. this is a net positive for the united states of america. and, again, for our allies abroad. mr. hoeven: would the senator from texas yield for just a minute? mr. cornyn: i would be happy to. mr. hoeven: i just want to pick up on the last point. it's an important one, particularly as we consider this legislation. and that is this doesn't just benefit the oil and gas producing states. it really benefits everybody. because when you think about all of the infrastructure and the materials, the equipment that goes into producing that energy, yoyou know, when you're talking about drilling down 10,000 feet, two miles underground and then drilling out three miles in multiple directions, when you talk about the equipment that's needed to do, that the tanks, when you talk about the
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transportation and all the things, when you talk about, you know, the research, the development, the engineering, all the things that go into it, i doubt there's a state in the union that isn't touched by this energy industry. and so that's something that i think all of our members have to keep in mind as we look at this legislation. it is not just about the energy producing states. it's about all of us in terms of the economy. it's about all of us in terms of national security. and the other point i made is, we're the ones leading the world forward with the newest technologies that will produce that energy with better viermtal stewardship. and so it affects all of us and i'm sure glad you brought up that point and i hope our colleagues keep it in mind as we vote on this important legislation. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i think thinking as the senator was talking, there's another benefit that's spread evenly among americans and that is low gasoline prices. the single-biggest driver of gasoline prices and the price of oil. and because of the abundant
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supply we've seen here in america due to the innovation, these techniques that the senator from north dakota talked about, oil prices are lower than they've been in a long time, which means you can buy a gallon of gasoline in texas for well under $2. i think i statue as chief as $1.-- i think i statue as cheap as $1,80, maybe even lower than that. so that has a direct impact on the pocketbooks of american peoples. so that's another reason why this legislation needs to be passed on friday of this week in the house and then in the senate. so i thank the senator from north dakota for this brief discussion. i wanted to come to the floor and talk about what we've been able to dplish year because sometimes i think people when they hear us talk, they think that we are somehow claiming credit where credit is not entirely due. or whether we're trying to make this purely a partisan matter.
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it's not. but it does require good leadership. as the presiding officer knows, having been speaker of the house in north carolina, the people who set had th set the agenda, a pretty important power. and all the legislation that's passed in year would not have passed if it weren't for the majority leader, senator mcconnell, under the new majority, scheduling it for a vote in the senate. and for chairmen in the relevant committees processing that legislation at the committee level and then making it available for floor consideration. but it's not just the republican majority. time after time after time we've seen republicans and democrats working hand in glove together to try to pass legislation that's good for the american people. and we've seen that on the education reform bill, where senator murray and senator alexander worked so closely together. we saw that in the highway bill, the first multi-year highway
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bill in more than a decade. or the senator from california, senator boxer, working together with senator inhofe from oklahoma, and the majority leader worked to really turn things around in the house of representatives to give them the space and the time to pass a multiyear highway bill and then to work with to us reconcile the differences and get it to the president. that's pretty important. i was just on the phone earlier today talking to some of the folks at the "austin american statesmen" and talking about the traffic situation we have on i-35. it's a veritable parking lot during many times of the day and people understand the importance of it. -- of taking care of your infrastructure, both maintaining it but also expanding it so people can get from point a to point b. but how -- more importantly, what that means in terms of the environment and their quality of life. so my timple point is, there is a big difference to the way this
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chamber has operated the now current -- the now democratic leader, senator reid, when i was majority leader back when our friends across the aisle were in the majority. that statistic has been mentioned. 15 votes on roll call votes on amendments where we've had more than almost 200 so far this year alone. but, frankly, i think our democratic friends like the way the senate's operating more under the current majority when they were in the majority. because under the dysfunction, under the previous majority, even democrats in the majority went able to get votes on amendments. and so when they stood before the voters, people said, well, what have you done? they didn't have much to show except this function. and i think that as the presiding officer knows, whether it's north carolina, it's other places around the country, we've got a number of new senators i
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think as a result of this misguided function which was calculated but i think proved to be a miscalculation. so it's a senate operating again in the interests of the american people. and we've had a pretty busy session. i'm not claiming it was perfect. frustrations abound. it's in the nation of divided government. and the legislation legislative process was defined by our founding fathers in the constitution to be hard. because, a, they actual saw the -- actually saw the concentration of power as a threat to their freedom and their liberty and they didn't want an efficient federal government. they wanted checks and balanced. they want checks between the various branches, between the -- between the two branches of the legislature and also checks and balances wrart to the allocation of power to the federal government relative to to the states and individuals. all of that separated power was
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designed to require deliberate rare, to require transparency and the building of consensus before legislation was passed that would have an impact on their lives. so it's been a good thing to see the senate work again and i think -- senate working again, and i think all of us, republicans and democrats alike, can be proud of some of the work we've done. one of the things i'm most proud of this year is the fact that we were able to pass a bill called "justice for victims of trafficking act" by 99-0. this is the first legislation which actually provided a crime victims compensation fund. to help provide grants to victims of human prospecting, which as i've described before on this floor, the typical program of a victim of human trafficking is a young girl from the age of 12 to 14. and we have we have need to have resources and people with big hearts in people in communities all across this country help
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rescue these victims of trafficking and help them recover their lives and help they gem on with their lives in a more productive and safe manner. so those are some of the things that we've done together. and now i want to spend a few minutes talking about some of the -- some of the things that i don't think we're going to be able to find political consensus on and that has to do with the president's. moving up his list of priorities. among all the other things that are going on in the world, he seems to be saying that climate change is the most urgent challenge facing the united states and the world. and i -- i worry a little bit any time i hear a politics or anybody, for that matter -- i hear a politician, or anybod, for that matter, make these mess mesionic claims.
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the president in paris called it a turning point for the world. a turning point for the world. it strikes me it takes quite a bit of hubris and really arrogance to be claiming that, yes, this is going to be a turning point for the world. as a matter of fact, the "wall street journal" said it pays to be skeptical of a politician who claims to be saving the planet. well, i'm -- i don't share the president's priorities when it comes to climate change because i think there are actually more urgent priorities, things like fighting terrorism, both abroad and here at home. that would be a more urgent. and some of the other, more prozaic without objection that wc that we do here that isimporo to our economy and -- american economy and to our economy -- american people and to our economy and for the jobs, that
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they can find employment. but once again the president is exaggerating what his authority is under our constitution. of course, the president has no legal authority to bind his successor. what he seems to be saying is, this is an agreement between me and the other 140-some-odd nations. and it won't last beyond its presidency. the last time i checked, the president will be leaving the white house sometime in early 2017. january 2017. so what he has purported to do is enter into an agreement that would somehow bind his successor and would somehow the congress and the american people. but constitution, el, this prest and no president has any authority to do anything like that. so it's clear that this agreement has been crafted in a
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way that gives some of the countries that are parties to the agreement more leeway than others. some major economies don't have to play by the same rules that the united states of america would. but this agreement represents the president once again trying to claim authority that he simply does not have. we don't have a king, mr. president. we don't have a king in america. we made that decision a long time ago. 1787, i think it was, when we decided we would not have a king. but the president seems to act like a monarch and claim authorities from some source other than the constitution. it seems unbelievable that after the obama administration has failed to find support for so many of the president's overreaching regulations here at home, not in congress, not in the state houses, not in the courts, that his response was to
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sign onto an agreement with the united nations that seeks to tax our use of energy. it's another attempt to do an end run around the constitution and around the american people. but what really frustrates me is the president's willingness to sacrifice our economy. job creation, the ability of people to find work and provide for their family. to promote a cause that offers no guarantee of a more resilient climate or clean environment. you know, frequently the president and some of his supporters like to say that, well, people who don't regard climate change as a priority are antiscience. i actually think people who think agreements like this are going to provide the answer are antiscience. first of all, if you start looking at some of the models that are used to predict
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temperatures in decades and perhaps centuries out, this is not what you would call science. this is more like an economic projection or model which we know how reliable they have been in the past, and i couldn't help but think about growing up a book that i remember reading called the population bomb. this is written by a stanford professor named paul erlich. what the thesis of the population bomb was that unless we did something to control population, millions of people were going to starve to death because we were going to outstrip our food supply. well, obviously, that didn't happen, and one of the reasons it didn't happen is because of a man by the name of norman borlach, a nobel prize winner, considered now the father of the green revolution. by the way, he did spend a little bit of time at texas a&m
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and brian college station. but he was a -- really a heroic figure who used science to help figure out how to increase production of the food supply in a way that made paul ehrlich's prediction just a pipe dream. it just didn't happen. and so it is i think that by predicting all these dire consequences, it's the predictors -- it's the people who are embracing this sort of climate change theology who don't have any of confidence in our ability to innovate our way out of these problems. i'll just use one more anecdote to try to make the point. at the start of the 20th century, horses in new york city were producing about five million pounds of manure a day. five million pounds of manure a
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day at the start of the 20th century. can you imagine what an environmental hazard this would be with manure piled on vacant lots, with rats -- i won't go into all the details. it's pretty repulsive to think about it. but as one book called superfreakonomics" which uses this great example, they said well, what happened to that? and what happened to that, instead of some grandiose government policy, instead of some new tax or regulation that government issued, what happened to that and the environmental hazard that presented was the internal combustion engine. so not overnight but in apparently short order, that manure was disposed of, horses were replaced by cars. again, it's just another example of how american innovation,
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creativity, entrepreneurialism can take care of many of these problems that are some of the -- some of our friends worry so much about and think should be such an important priority for us. america's entrepreneurs have shown time and time again that they are simply more adaptive and ingenious than government regulators and bureaucrats. so by bypassing the american people and signing our country up for a bad international agreement that doesn't put our country first, we should instead focus on finding innovative solutions that fit the diverse needs of consumers, businesses and a growing economy alike. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardener: thank you, mr. president. i rise -- mr. gardner: i rise to
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honor our men and women in law enforcement. mr. gardner: in colorado, we honor our four fallen officers. sahara gent sean renfro with the jefferson county sheriff's office whose care and concern for others did not end when he was off duty. trooper taylor tayfault. due to bravery, he was honored as a trooper before being laid to rest. jamie jersevics with the colorado state patrol, a new mom. and officer garrett swazey, our most recent loss as he responded to the senseless attack in colorado springs. each of their legacies reflect an extraordinary colorado spirit, each a cherished member of their community, leaving behind loved ones as they work to uphold the law and care for those around them. these heroes risked their lives
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and they showed the highest courage, and as we prepare our hearts and our homes for the holiday season, i hope that we can all take a few moments to express our sincere gratitude for their service and protection. in the best of times, patrolling the roadways, being present and maintaining order can be a difficult and dangerous duty. i'm proud of the work the men and women who make up law enforcement in colorado, the work they carry out each and every day. on watch in precincts, correctional facilities and along our highways, they diligently fight to safeguard our state. colorado families, including mine from the eastern plains to the western slopes, remain safe in large part because of the work and valor of our law enforcement personnel. as the guardians of our communities, they are prepared to respond to things that most of society hope simply will never happen to them. lieutenant certainly dave grossman wrote that american law enforcement is the loyal and
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brave sheep dog, always standing watch for the wolf that lurks in the dark. with the recent events here at home and abroad, we are reminded of the threats that are hiding in the shadows and the dangers that police officers confront each and every day, and yet they remain steadfast in their commitment to stand against evil. i am personally grateful for their sacrifices that they make and the commitment that they demonstrate to protect our state and our country. their courage and selfless service was exemplified in the recent tragedy in colorado springs. as first responders, they are the first to encounter the fear, the calls for help and the danger, but in that fear and danger, they provide hope and safety. driven by courage and the desire to serve, they fulfill a great need throughout our communities. they carry these values as they begin their watch each and every day, when they leave their family to protect mine and every other american. their badge identifies them as a source of help in vulnerable times and behind each badge of
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police officers, sheriff's deputies, correctional officers and patrol men and women is a heart that extends beyond its own bounds. calling colorado home rings truer when you also have the honor to safeguard it. i'm thankful for their service and thankful to the families for their continued sacrifice. they are constantly in my family's thoughts and prayers, and we wish them each a safe and happy holiday. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: mr. president, today is a great day to be an oil company in america. not since august 27, 1859, when edwin drake drilled that first oil well in titusville, pennsylvania, has there been a day as good for the oil industry in our country as today. and why is today a great day for
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big oil? well, i'll tell you. last night, at 2:00 a.m., the republican leadership released its government spending bill and tucked into that bill on page page 1,865 is a provision that would massively reshape our nation's energy policy. tucked into that bill is language that would roll back long-standing u.s. law and allow the oil industry to sell american crude oil overseas for the first time in more than 40 years. if this becomes law, it means potentially $175 billion in new revenue for the oil industry over the next decade. up to $500 billion in new revenues for the oil industry over the next 20 years. and that is why this provision is in there. it is corporate welfare for the most profitable industry in the
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history of the world, the oil industry. and what does this mean for the american people? well, lifting the ban on the exportation of american oil so it goes overseas rather than staying here in america, it will be a disaster for our economy, for our climate, for our national security. for our consumers. you remember the old mantra of the republican party -- drill here, drill now, pay less. well, now they have changed it. their new mantra is drill here, export there, pay more. the oil industry push to export american oil isn't about helping consumers at the pump. it's about pumping up big oil's profits. when has the oil industry ever pushed for policies that would drive down prices and their
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profits? these are for-profit corporations, not charitable institutions. they're looking to make lots of new money off of selling oil around the world but not here in the united states. if we allow this to happen, it will be a disaster for consumers in many regions of the country. for example, the northeast. the department of energy has said that losing our refineries on the east coast, which would easily happen because of this new law, it will lead to higher prices, higher priced volatility and the potential for temporary supplies disruptions in our region. right now, consumers across america are saving in $2,015,700 because gasoline prices are so low, $500 on home heating oil because prices are so low. that is a stimulus, almost like
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a tax break in the pockets of working class and poor americans all across our country. exports would wipe out this economic stimulus for average americans. it would begin to lead to the higher prices which the oil industry wants, both on the global market and here in the united states of america. and the new revenue that the oil industry will collect from exports is not magically created out of thin air. it will be transferred from american consumers and our domestic refiners into the pockets of the big oil companies in our country, and this could amount to one of the largest single energy taxes in the history of the world. remember, saudi arabia and their opec allies, they control the
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global oil trade. they control the price that's paid on the global market. and recently, opec suggested oil prices may rise again next year, putting in jeopardy the economic benefits that low gasoline prices, low heating oil prices have provided for average americans. second, national security. importing our oil while we export our young men and women abroad. that's what we have right now. we're importing oil from saudi arabia, from nigeria, from algeria, from kuwait, from iraq. that's what happens every day. that's a big reason why we have so many young men and women over in the middle east, protecting those cargo ships of oil coming into our country. we still import five million barrels of oil a day. china in and the united states, we're the largest importers. we don't have oil to export.
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we're still importing 25% of all of our oil into our country right now, and we're importing it from countries we should not be importing that oil from. if we have a chance to back out that oil, to tell those countries we don't need their oil anymore that wouldn't need their sand, we're doing a big favor for our young men and women in uniform. we're allowing ourselves to step back and be more dispassionate in the decisions that we make about our relationships with all of those countries. what this decision says is, we're going to export our own oil, even as we continue to import oil from the middle east. this will only heighten our dependence upon oil coming in from countries that we should not be importing oil from, if we have a chance to back it out. that's what's wrong with this decision at its heart. oil, i.t. no


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